Why Technical English

Search engine – essential information

December 29, 2011
12 Comments
Composed by Galina Vitkova using Wikipedia

A search engine usually refers to searching for information on the Web. Other kinds of the search engine are enterprise search engines, which search on intranets, personal search engines, and mobile search engines. Different selection and relevance criteria may apply in different environments, or for different uses.

Diagram of the search engine concept (en)

Web search engines operate in the following order: 1) Web crawling, 2) Indexing, 3) Searching. Search engines store information about a large number of web pages, which they look up in the Web itself. These pages are retrieved by a Web crawler (sometimes also known as a spider). It is

Architecture of a Web crawler.

 an automated Web browser which follows every link it sees. The contents of each page are then analyzed to determine how it should be indexed. Data about web pages are stored in an index database. Some search engines, such as Google, store all or part of the source page (referred to as a cache) as well as information about the web pages. Other engines, such as AltaVista, store every word of every page they find. This cached page always holds the actual search text since it is the one that was actually indexed. Search engines use regularly updated indexes to operate quickly and efficiently.

When a user makes a query, commonly by giving key words, the search engine looks up the index and provides a listing of best-matching web pages according to its criteria. Usually the listing comprises a short summary containing the document title and sometimes parts of the text. Most search engines support the use of the Boolean terms AND, OR and NOT to further specify the search query. The listing is often sorted with respect to some measure of relevance of the results. An advanced feature is proximity search, which allows users to define the distance between key words.

Most Web search engines are commercial ventures supported by advertising revenue. As a result, some of the engines employ the controversial practice of allowing advertisers to pay money to have their listings ranked higher in search outcomes. The vast majority of search engines running by private companies use proprietary algorithms and closed databases, though a few of them are open sources.

Nowadays the most popular search engines are as follows:

Google. Around 2001, the Google search engine rose to prominence. Its success was based in part on the concept of link popularity and PageRank. Further it utilizes more than 150 criteria to determine relevancy. Google is currently the most of all used search engine.

Baidu. Due to the difference between Ideographic and Alphabet writing system, the Chinese search market didn’t boom until the introduction of Baidu in 2000. Since then, neither Google, Yahoo nor Microsoft could come to the top like in other part of the world. The reason may be the media control policy of the Chinese government, which requires any network media to filter any possible sensitive information out from their web pages.

Yahoo! Search. Only since 2004, Yahoo! Search has become an original web crawler-based search engine, with a reinvented crawler called Yahoo! Slurp. Its new search engine results were included in all of Yahoo! sites that had a web search function. It also started to sell its search engine results to other companies, to show on their web sites.

After the boom success of key word search engines, such as Google and Yahoo! search, a new type of a search engine, a meta search engine, appears. In general, the meta search engine is not a search engine. Technically, it is a search engine based on search engines. A typical meta search engine accepts user queries the same as that of traditional search engines. But instead of searching key words in its own database, it sends those queries to other non-meta search engines. Then based on the search results returned by several non-meta search engines, it selects the best ones (according on different algorithms), showing back to users. Examples of those meta search engines are Dog Pile (http://www.dogpile.com/) and All in One News (http://www.allinonenews.com/About Allinonenews).

English: Meta search engine Français : metamoteur

PS: The text is drawn up within an upcoming e-book titled Internet English (see Number 33 – WWW, Part 1 / August 2011 – Editorial). G. Vitkova

 

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Tactical Media and games

December 1, 2010
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Composed by Galina Vitkova

  

Introductory notes

Tactical media is a form of media activism that uses media and communication technologies for social movement and privileges temporary, hit-and-run interventions in the media sphere. Attempts to spread information not available by mainstream news are also called media activism. The term was first introduced in the mid-1990s in Europe and the United States by media theorists and practitioners. Since then, it has been used to describe the practices of a vast array of art and activist groups. Tactical media also shares something with the hacker subculture, and in particular with software and hardware hacks which modify, extend or unlock closed information systems and technologies.

Tactical Media in Video Games

Video games have opened a fully new approach for tactical media artists. This form of media allows a wide range of audiences to be informed of a specific issue or idea. Some examples of games that touch on Tactical Media are Darfur is Dying and September 12. One example of a game design studio that works in tactical media is TAKE ACTION games (TAG). The video game website www.newsgaming.com greatly embodies the idea of tactical media in video games. Newsgaming coins this name as a new genre that brings awareness of current news related issues based on true world events apposed to fantasy worlds that other video games are based upon. It contributes to emerging culture that is largely aimed at raising awareness about important matters in a new and brilliant approach.

Other examples of tactical media within video games include The McDonald’s Game. The author of this game takes information from the executive officers of McDonalds and giving it to the public by informing people about how McDonalds does its business and what means it uses to accomplish it.

Chris Crawford’s Balance of the Planet, made in 1990, is another example of tactical media, in which the game describes environmental issues.

Darfur is Dying description   

Camp of Darfuris internally displaced by the o...

Image via Wikipedia

Origination

It is a browser game about the crisis in Darfur, western Sudan. The game won the Darfur Digital Activist Contest sponsored by the company mtvU ((Music Television for Universities campus)). Released in April 2006, more than 800,000 people had played it by September. It is classified as a serious game, specifically a newsgame.
The game design was led by Susana Ruiz (then a graduate student at the Interactive Media Program at the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California) as a part of TAKE ACTION games. In October 2005 she was attending the Games for Change conference in New York City, where mtvU announced that they, in partnership with other organizations, were launching the Darfur Digital Activist Contest for a game. The game should also be an advocacy tool about the situation in the Darfur conflict. Since mtvU offered funding and other resources, Ruiz decided to participate in this project.
Ruiz formed a design team and spent two months creating a game design document and prototype. The team spent much of the design phase talking to humanitarian aid workers with experience in Darfur and brainstorming how to make a game that was both interesting to play and was an advocacy tool. The Ruiz team’s beta version was put up for review by the public, along with the other finalists, and was chosen as the winner. The team then received funding to complete the game. The game was officially released at a Save Darfur Coalition rally on 30 March 2006.
Map of Darfur, Sudan (
Image via Wikipedia

 

Gameplay

The game begins with the player choosing a member of a Darfuri family that has been displaced by the conflict. The first of the two modes of the game begins with the player controlling the family member, who travelled from the camp to a well and back, while dodging patrols of the janjaweed militia. If captured, the player is informed what has happened to his/her selected character and asked to select another member of the family and try again. If the water is successfully carried back to the camp, the game switches into its second mode – a top down management view of the camp, where the character must use the water for crops and to build huts. When the water runs out the player must return to the water fetching level to progress. The goal is to keep the camp running for seven days.

 

Original caption states,

Image via Wikipedia

 Reception of the game

The game has been reported by mainstream media sources such as The Washington Post, Time Magazine, BBC News and National Public Radio. In an early September 2006 interview, Ruiz stated that it was difficult to determine success for a game with a social goal, but affirmed that more than 800,000 people had played it 1.7 million times since its release.  Moreover, tens of thousands of them had forwarded the game to friends or sent a letter to an elected representative. As of April 2007, the game has been played more than 2.4 million times by over 1.2 million people worldwide.

 The game has been the focus of debate on its nature and impact. Some academics, interviewed by the BBC on the game, stated that anything that might spark debate over Darfur and issues surrounding is a clear gain for the advocates. The others thought that the game oversimplified a complex situation and thus failed to address the actual issues of the conflict.  The game was also criticized for the sponsorship of mtvU, raising the possibility that the game might seem like a marketing tool for the corporation. The official site does not use the word “game”, but refers to Darfur is Dying as a “narrative based simulation.”

 

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Choose Genres of PC Games for Your Relaxing

October 29, 2010
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Composed by Galina Vitkova

PC games or more generally video games can be categorized into genres by many factors such as methods of game playing, types of goals, art style and more. Nevertheless, a lack of consensus is typical for accepting formal definitions of game genres. Since genres are dependent on content by definition, they have changed and evolved as newer styles of video games have appeared.

Below commonly used video game genres with brief descriptions and sometimes with       examples are listed. However, Chris Crawford, a well-known computer gamedesigner and writer, notes that “the state of computer game design is changing quickly. We would therefore expect the taxonomy presented here to become obsolete or inadequate in a short time.” So, he recommends to “think of each individual game as belonging to several genres at once.”

Action games      

An action game puts stress on combat. So, players should use quick reflexes, accuracy, and timing to overcome obstacles. It is perhaps the most basic of game genres, and certainly one of the most widespread.

Fighting games emphasize one-on-one fight between two characters, one of which may be computer controlled. This genre first appeared in 1976 with the release of Sega‘s Heavyweight Boxing and later became a phenomenon, particularly in the arcades, with the release of Street Fighter II.

Maze games plot is entirely connected with a maze, which players must navigate. Quick thinking and fast reaction times are advanced by the use of a timer, monsters obstructing the player’s way, or multiple players racing to the finish. The most famous game of this genre is Pac-Man.

Pinball games are intended to replicate the look and feel of a real-life pinball table in virtual reality. Most pinball games hold the same gameplay style as in a real pinball table with some additional possibilities. In recent years they have become more popular on handheld systems, as opposed to consoles.

Platform games (platformers) involve travelling between platforms by jumping (sometimes by swinging or bouncing). Other traditional elements include running and climbing ladders and ledges. Platformers frequently borrow elements from other genres like fighting and shooting.

Shooter games

A shooter game focuses chiefly on combat involving projectile weapons, such as guns and missiles. They can be divided into first-person and third-person shooters, depending on perspective. First-person shooter video games (FPSs) emphasize shooting and combat from the perspective of the character controlled by the player and give the player the feeling of “being there”. Most FPSs are very fast-paced and require quick reflexes on high difficulty levels. Third-person shooter video games (TPSs or 3PSs) involve shooting and combat from a camera perspective, in which the player is seen at a distance. Furthermore, third-person shooters allow more complicated movements such as rolling or diving, as opposed to simple jumping and crouching typical in FPS games.

Official screenshot of Scorched 3D, an artille...

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Massively multiplayer online first person shooter games (MMOFPS) combine first-person shooter gameplay with a virtual world in which a large number of players may interact over the Internet. While standard FPS games limit the number of players able to compete in a multiplayer match (generally the maximum is 64), hundreds of players can battle each other on the same server in the game.

A shoot ’em up (or shmup for short), or arcade shooter, is a genre of shooter game in which the player controls a character or vehicle (most often a spacecraft) and shoots large numbers of enemies. Games in this genre call for fast reactions and memorization of enemy patterns. The first game of this type was Spacewar, developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1961, for the amusement of the developers; it was later released as an arcade game.

Tactical shooters are variations on the first- and third-person shooter genre, which concentrate on realism and highlight tactical play such as planning and teamwork (for example, co-ordination and specialised roles). In single player modes, the player commands a squad of AI controlled characters in addition to his own. In multi-player modes, players must work in teams in order to win the game.

Adventure games 

Adventure games belong to the earliest games created. The player should typically solve various puzzles by interacting with people or the environment, most often in a non-confrontational way. It is considered a “purist” genre and strives to exclude anything which comprises action elements.

A visual novel belongs to adventure games comprising mostly static graphics, usually with anime-style art. They resemble mixed-media novels or tableau vivant stage plays. Many visual novels can have various endings and allow more dynamic reactions to the player’s actions than a typical linear adventure plot. Visual novels are particularly popular in Japan, where they amount to 70% of PC games released.

The interactive movie genre came with the invention of laserdiscs. An interactive movie contains pre-filmed full-motion cartoons or live-action sequences, where the player controls some of the moves of the main character. In these games the only activity the player has is to choose or guess the move the designers intend him to make.

Action-adventure games 

Action-adventure games combine elements of their two component genres, habitually furnishing long-term obstacles that must be overcome almost constantly in the way. Action-adventure games tend to focus on exploration and usually comprise gathering, simple puzzle solving, and combat. “Action-adventure” has become a label attaching to games which do not fit precisely into another well known genre.  

Role-playing video games                                 

Role-playing video games derive their gameplay from traditional role-playing games (RPGs). Cultural differences in role-playing video games have led towards two sets of characteristics sometimes referred to as Western and Eastern RPGs. The first type often involves the player creating a character and a non-linear storyline along which the player makes his own decisions. In the second type, the player controls a party of predefined characters through a dramatically scripted linear storyline.

The action role-playing game is a type of role-playing game which includes elements from action games or action-adventure games. Although a definition of the genre varies, the typical action RPG heavily accents combat and often simplifies or removes non-combat attributes.

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) emerged in the mid to late 1990s. Fantasy MMORPGs like The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, remain the most popular till now.

The tactical role-playing game sub-genre principally refers to games which embody gameplay from strategy games as an alternative to traditional RPG systems. Like standard RPGs, the player controls a finite party and battles, but this genre incorporates strategic gameplay such as tactical movement, too.

   

An elven bardess, a magician and a girl at a l...

Image via Wikipedia

References:   http://en.wikipedia.org/

 


Video Games Platforms

October 6, 2010
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Composed by Galina Vitkova

 

Terminology

The term game platform refers to the particular combination of electronic or computer hardware which, in connection with low-level software, allows a video game to run. In general, a hardware platform means a group of compatible computers that can run the same software. A software platform comprises a major piece of software, as an operating system, operating environment, or a database, under which various smaller application programs can be designed to run. Below main platforms of video games are reviewed.   

  

Platforms for PC games 

PC games often require specialized hardware in the user’s computer in order to play, such as a specific generation of graphics processing unit or an Internet connection for online play, although these system requirements vary from game to game. In any case your PC hardware capabilities should meet minimum hardware requirements established for particular PC games. On the other side, many modern computer games allow, or even require, the player to use a keyboard and mouse simultaneously without demanding any additional devices. 

As of the 2000s, PC games are often regarded as offering a deeper and more complex experience than console games. 

 

Video game consoles platform

A video game console is an interactive entertainment computer or modified computer system that produces a video display signal which can be used with a display device to show video games.    

Usually, this system is connected to a common television set or composite video monitor. A composite monitor is any analog video display that receives input in the form of an analog composite video signal through a single cable. The monitor is different from a conventional TV set because it does not have an internal RF (Radio Frequency) tuner or RF converter. However, a user can install an external device that emulates a TV tuner. 

  

Handheld game consoles platform

A handheld game console is a lightweight, portable electronic device of a small size with a built-in screen, games controls and speakers. A small size allows people to carry handheld game consoles and play games at any time or place. 

A One Station handheld console with game

Image via Wikipedia

 The oldest true handheld game console with interchangeable cartridges is the Milton Bradley Microvision issued in 1979. 

Nintendo, with a popular handheld console concept released the Game Boy in 1989, and continues to dominate the handheld console market with successive Game Boy, and most recently Nintendo DS models.  

  

Handheld electronic games platform

In the past decade, handheld video games have currently become a major sector of the video game market. For example, in 2004 sales of portable software titles exceeded $1 billion in the United States. 

The Gizmondo handheld video game unit. United ...

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Handheld electronic games are very small portable devices for playing interactive electronic games, often miniaturized versions of video games. The controls, display and speakers are all a part of a single unit. They usually have displays designed to play one game. Due to this simplicity they can be made as small as a digital watch, and sometimes are. Usually they do not have interchangeable cartridges, disks, etc., or are not reprogrammable.  The visual output of these games can range from a few small light bulbs or a light-emitting diode (LED) lights to calculator-like alphanumerical screens. Nowadays these outputs are mostly displaced by liquid crystal and Vacuum fluorescent display screens. Handhelds were most popular from the late 1970s into the early 1990s. They are both the precursors and inexpensive alternatives to the handheld game console. 

Mobile games platform

A mobile game is a video game played on a mobile phone, smartphone, PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), handheld computer or portable media player.  

The 16 best iPhone games of 2009

Image by docpop via Flickr

The first game that was pre-installed onto a mobile phone was Snake on selected Nokia models in 1997. Snake and its variants have since become the most-played video game on the planet, with over a billion people having played the game. Mobile games are played using the technologies present on the device itself. The games may be installed over the air, they may be side loaded onto the handset with a cable, or they may be embedded on the handheld devices by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or by the mobile operator. 

For networked games, there are various technologies in common use, for example, text message (SMS), multimedia message (MMS) or GPRS location identification. 

  

Arcade games 

The Simpsons arcade game by Konami

Image by Lost Tulsa via Flickr

An Arcade game is a coin-operated entertainment machine, usually installed in public businesses such as restaurants, public houses, and video arcades. Most arcade games are redemption games, merchandisers (such as claw crane), video games, or pinball machines. The golden age of video arcade games within the early 1980s was a peak era of video arcade game popularity, innovation, and earnings.     

Furthermore, by the late 1990s and early 2000s, networked gaming via console and computers across the Internet had appeared and replaced arcade games. The arcades also lost their a forefront position of the of new game releases. Having the choice between playing a game at an arcade three or four times (perhaps 15 minutes of play for a typical arcade game), and renting, at about the same price, the exact same game for a video game console, people selected the console. To remain viable, arcades added other elements to complement the video games such as redemption games, merchandisers, games that use special controllers largely inaccessible to home users. Besides, they equiped games with  reproductions of automobile or airplane cockpits, motorcycle or horse-shaped controllers, or highly dedicated controllers such as dancing mats and fishing rods. Moreover, today arcades extended their activities by food service etc. striving to become “fun centers” or “family fun centers”. 

All modern arcade games use solid state electronics and integrated circuits. In the past coin-operated arcade video games generally used custom per-game hardware often with multiple CPUs, highly specialized sound and graphics chips, and the latest in computer graphics display technology. Recent arcade game hardware is often based on modified video game console hardware or high-end PC components.

References:   http://en.wikipedia.org/

 

 


Accumulate Your Vocabulary

September 25, 2010
2 Comments
                                          BGalina Vitkova   
 
  
          

Tips and steps

One of the most difficult work in studying a language is building and learning the language vocabulary. You should build your vocabulary all your life. But how? On the Internet and numerous English course books you can find ample tips and strategies that may help you in this sense.

In my opinion, based on my own experience and testing advices and recommendations of specialists in this area, the main, principal steps in building your own vocabulary are as follows: 

  • First of all, it is necessary to focus on several common ways to your vocabulary skills. Generally, building vocabulary goes from passive knowledge to active knowledge – by repeating a word so long until it becomes active vocabulary. This process requires time. So, be prepared for that and arm yourself with patience.
  • Learning vocabulary in groups of words appears to be much more effective than memorizing random lists. In this case words that are related to each other are more likely to be remembered over the long-term period.
  • The best way of learning words is to study and read systematically related texts and make a list of words of frequent occurrence.
  • Focusing on certain topics, which you are most interested in, brings good results, too;
  • For technical students and professionals such topics are comprised in technical texts typical and ultimate in their branch. Related activities include:
 
  • building a specialized list of common words appeared with high frequency in technical texts, which attract your attention,
  • building a list of professional words, expressions, collocations used in your branch,
  • building a list of words used in common communication (radio, TV, magazines, journals) to be able to understand discussions on topics that concern you;

After building such lists you can memorize them successfully.

Vocabulary Trees                                 

Vocabulary trees provide a solid ground for building your vocabulary and enhancing its level. People, especially students very often learn a new vocabulary by simply writing lists of new vocabulary words and then memorize these words by heart. Unfortunately, this technique generally brings only few positive consequences. Such learning helps you to pass exams, different tests, interviews etc. It leads to open up a kind of “short term” remembering. Vocabulary trees, on the other hand, provide a clue to “long term” memorization by placing vocabulary in connected categories. The example of a vocabulary tree on the right is taken up from http://esl.about.com/ .

A concept of vocabulary trees is applied in Improve Vocabulary with Vocabulary.Net Builder, which is strongly recommended to try. Enjoy the citrates from this publication:

“English vocabulary level has been shown to be strongly related to educational success. In addition, it is related to the level of occupation attained“. Bowker, R. (1981).

“A rich vocabulary is a valuable asset and an important attribute of success in any walk of life …”. Elley, W.B. (1988).

Vocabulary Tables

Vocabulary tables can help you in enriching your vocabulary based on different forms of a particular word that is known to you. If you build regularly vocabulary tables based on specific topics, namely in our case on technical topics, which you study or work in, you will certainly improve your knowledge of English.

Building tables on specific topics also helps to improve “long term” memory of related words. See below an example of such a vocabulary table based on words related to the post Speech and Handwriting Recognition in Windows 7 , which is the most popular last weeks:

NOUNS VERBS ADJECTIVES ADVERBS
availability, availableness   available availably
computer, computation, computerisation, computability compute, computerise computable,  computerisable,    
change change changeable changeably
implementation implement implementable  
improvement improve improvable  
recognition, recognisability recognise recognitive, recognisable recognisably
use, usage, usability use usable  

 

850 Words for Basic Conversational Fluency

Even if learning words from casual lists is certainly not the most effective method for long-term word remembering, it is very helpful to know what words are the most usable in English. It provides you with a good roadmap in studying the language. A list of such 850 words was published in 1930 in the book by Charles K. Ogden named Basic English: A General Introduction with Rules and Grammar.

The book contains basic verbs, articles, pronouns, prepositions, etc. split into categories. These 850 words should give you a solid basis for conversation. For more information about this list you can find in Ogden’s Basic English page. In any case, this list is an excellent starting point for building up a vocabulary that allows you to converse fluently in English.

Below the hyperlinks to these 850 Words are given:

Basics (verbs, articles, pronouns, prepositions, etc.)
General Nouns 1 – 200
General Nouns 201 – 400
Specific Nouns 1 – 200
Adjectives 1 – 150

For more advanced vocabulary building that helps you quickly improve your English study Kenneth Beare (http://esl.about.com/) recommends these vocabulary books. They will help you enhance your vocabulary, which is especially important for professional English knowledge.

 Use more your Dictionary

Since you can use it not only for finding words, but also in order to explain meanings of words, to improve your pronunciation by hearing words, in order to check spellings of less-known words and spelling variations, to find synonyms and more. Drop a look again at Dictionary – your best helper in mastering English words . There you will find the detailed information of possible usage of dictionaries for building your specialized vocabulary.

Read more about the topic at http://socyberty.com/languages/who-wants-to-improve-the-vocabulary/#ixzz0zzVciIw1 .

References

PS:

  • It is very helpful to be aware of what kind of the English reader you are. Complete Personality Quiz – What Kind of English Learner Are You?
  • Build your vocabulary and study English in compliance with your type of the English Learner!
  • In Free Rice you can find a very nice game that helps you in learning English words. English grammar and other topics. At the same time the game will entertain you.

 

 


Contemporary gaming

August 29, 2010
2 Comments
Composed by Galina Vitkova

 

Dear friends of Technical English!

Having finished discussing new features of Windows 7 we were looking for topics that could be proper for studying Technical English. After a relatively short time we have chosen computer games for reasons as follows:

  • This topic may be interesting for a larger amount of people studying and needing English. Effectiveness of studying interesting subjects that fascinate you is, as well-known, much higher;
  • In PC games many general methods and instruments that are commonly used for building software applications and systems are applied, too. It means that the same terminology is used in both cases. Thus studying technical texts about PC games we can significantly enrich our professional vocabulary by those technical terms;
  • Games contribute to development of communication skills and reaction readiness, the interest to a game strengthen your ability to remember or memorize new words and expressions;
  • PC games, in spite of their controversial reputation, provide a good means for relaxation.

Enjoy the text and participate in discussion!

 

Contemporary gaming

Personal Computer games (also known as computer games or PC games) have evolved from the simple graphics and gameplays of early titles like Spacewar to a wide range of more visually advanced titles.

 

Playing Spacewar

Image by Marcin Wichary via Flickr

 

 

Although personal computers only became popular with the development of microprocessors, mainframes and minicomputers, computer gaming has existed since at least the 1960s. The first generation of  PC games were often text adventures or interactive fictions, in which the player communicated with the computer by entering commands through a keyboard. Increasing adoption of the computer mouse, and high resolution bitmap displays allowed to include increasingly high-quality graphical interfaces in new releases. Further improvements to games were made with the introduction of the first sound cards in 1987. These cards allowed IBM PC compatible computers to produce complex sounds using frequency modulation (FM synthesis). Previously those computers had been limited to simple tones and beeps.

 

Xbox 360 Case Mod - mosaic Tomb Raider Legend case

 

By 1996, the rise of Microsoft Windows and success of 3D console titles gave rise to great interest in hardware accelerated 3D graphics on the IBM PC compatible computers, and soon resulted in attempts to produce affordable solutions. Tomb Raider, which was released in 1996, was one of the first shooter games acclaimed for its revolutionary graphics. However, major changes to the Microsoft Windows operating system made many older MS-DOS-based games unplayable on Windows NT, and later, Windows XP without using an emulator. The faster graphics accelerators and improving CPU technology resulted in increasing levels of realism in computer games. During this time, the improvements have allowed developers to increase the complexity of modern game engines. PC gaming currently tends strongly toward improvements in 3D graphics.

Concurrently, many game publishers began to experiment with new forms of marketing. Nowadays episodic gaming is chief among these alternative strategies. This kind of gaming is an adaptation of the older concept of expansion packs, in which game content is provided in smaller quantities but for a proportionally lower price. Titles such as Half-Life 2: Episode One took advantage of the idea, with mixed results rising from concerns for the amount of content provided for the price.

The multi-purpose nature of personal computers often allows users to modify the content of installed games with relative ease in comparison with console cames. The console games are generally difficult to modify without a proprietary means. Furthermore, they are often protected by legal and physical barriers against tampering. Contrary to it, the personal computer version of games may be modified using common, easy-to-obtain software. Users can then distribute their customised version of the game (commonly known as a mod) by any means they choose.

The inclusion of map editors, such as UnrealEd with the retail versions of many games that have been made available online, allow users to create modifications for games smoothly. Moreover, the users may use for this purpose tools that are maintained by the games’ original developers. In addition, companies such as id Software have released the source code to older game engines. Thus they enable creation of entirely new games and major changes to existing ones.

Modding have allowed much of the community to produce game elements that would not normally be provided by the developer of the game. Due to it expanding or modifying normal gameplays to varying degrees has been enabled.

References:   http://en.wikipedia.org/


Speech and Handwriting Recognition in Windows 7

March 30, 2010
6 Comments

By P.B.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any practical experience with speech or handwriting recognition. However, I would like to get the experience and to use these new features of Windows 7 when communicating with my computer.

Speech recognition

It is included free as a part of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems. The version in Windows 7 is actually unchanged, though some small improvements – such as an expanded dictionary – have been involved.

When a user wants to implement the function Speech recognition, he must do 3 steps:

  1. To set the microphone using a menu:  Start – Settings – Easy access – Speech recognition – Set the microphone.  For faster recognition it is necessary to have a good microphone (in order to avoid background noise). It is better to use a headset microphone than a desktop one.
  2. To learn speaking to the computer – the Windows contains a program which teaches users to use common commands (e.g. open the file, close the folder) in 30 minutes.
  3. To teach the computer to recognize user´s speech – during usage of speech recognition the computer improves its ability to recognize a specific user´s voice profile.

The function Speech recognition is available in English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese and Chinese (Traditional and Simplified).

Handwriting

Microsoft has been working on handwriting recognition for over 15 years (from Windows 3.0). There were Only 12 languages are available in the Windows Vista.  In the Windows 7 more languages are included and for us it is important that Czech language is in the package. The language, in which the operating system is installed, and English language as well can be always usable for handwriting recognition, but when you need to recognize handwriting in another language besides English, you must have Windows 7 Ultimate and download an additional package.

The reason why all languages, used in countries where Windows may be applied, aren’t included in Windows 7 is simple. For each new language it is necessary to collect samples of native handwriting, to analyze collected data and cleanse it. So, development of a new handwriting recognizer starts with a huge data collection effort. Millions words and characters of a written text are collected from tens of thousands of writers. The problems are that some languages have special characters or accents and people in different regions learn to write in different ways. Differences exist even between countries with the same language as between the UK and US, for example. Characters that may look visually very similar to you can actually be quite different to the computer. This is why it is necessary to collect real data about how characters, punctuation marks and other shapes are exactly written.

Before start of data collecting, recognizer developers configure collection tools, prepare documentation and compile language scripts in the labs. Once tools and scripts are ready, the labs are opened and volunteers may donate their handwriting samples. In the course of samples evaluating a gender, age, left handiness and educational background are taken into consideration. A collection session lasts 60-90 minutes. The donated data is then uploaded and stored in a Microsoft database for future use.

 


Kernel improvements in Windows 7

March 27, 2010
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  We continue in discussing Features new to Windows 7. This time some kernel improvements are argued. Join us!

Galina Vitkova

The kernel is a central part of most computer operating systems. That is a component of an operating system which makes a bridge between applications and the actual data processing executed by hardware. The kernel is intended to manage communication between hardware and software components of a computer system. It means the kernel communicates with external devices (Input/Output devices: a keyboard, a mouse, disk drives, printers, displays, etc.), manages internal components (like RAM, CPU, HDD) and operates entire processes. The kernel controls all processes which are starting and running and decides which process will have access to the hardware and for how long.   

    

Fig. 1  (from Wikipedia)

A kernel connects the application software to the hardware of a computer

 

The kernel is a constituent of a series of abstraction layers, each relying on the functions of layers beneath itself. As a basic component of the operating system it merely corresponds to the lowest level of abstraction that is implemented in software. The abstraction layers simplify designing all the software and make its implementation feasible.   

   

Fig. 2 (from Wikipedia)

A typical vision of a computer architecture as a series of abstraction layers: hardware, firmware, assembler, kernel, operating system and applications

Several improvements and additions have been made to Windows 7 (and Server 2008 R2) kernel components, which have increased system performance and enabled more optimal use of available hardware resources. Some of them are as follows:

  • Support for up to 256 logical processors.
  • Introduction of the concept of “timer coalescing (joining)”: Multiple applications or device drivers, which perform actions on a regular basis, can be set to occur at once, instead of each action being performed in accordance with their own schedule.
  • Implementation of Device Containers: Before Windows 7, every device attached to the system has been treated as a single functional end-point, which has a set of capabilities and a “status”. This has been appropriate for single-function devices (such as a keyboard or scanner). But it does not accurately represent multi-function devices such as a combination printer/fax machine/scanner, or web-cams with a built-in microphone. In Windows 7, the drivers and status information for multi-function device can be grouped together as a single “Device Container”. Then this device container is presented to the user in the new “Devices and Printers” Control Panel as a single unit.  
  • Accomplishment of User-Mode Scheduling: The 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 introduce a user-mode scheduling framework. On Microsoft Windows operating systems, scheduling of threads inside a process is handled by the kernel. This is sufficient for most applications. However, applications with large concurrent threading requirements, such as a database server, can profit from having a thread scheduler in-process. It occurs because the kernel no longer needs to be involved in context switches between threads. Due to this innovation threads can be created and destroyed much more quickly when no kernel context switches are required.

For more information about kernel innovations in Windows 7 and more English practice see Core operating system .

Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

 

 


Biofuels Reduce Emissions (part 2)

March 12, 2010
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Special Interview Reveals How Czech Biofuels Are

Ing. Jiří Souček, CSc. (SoJ), who participated on biofuel research in the Czech Republic, answered questions posed by Galina Vitkova (ViG)

ViG:  What way are biofuels in the Czech Republic mainly used in: as an additive to the conventional fuel or as entire fuel?   ViG:  Jak hlavně se užívá biopalivo v ČR: jako doplněk ke klasickému palivu nebo jako celé palivo? 
SoJ:  In the Czech Republic biofuels are mainly used as an additive to the conventional fuel, i.e. to car gasoline and motor diesel. Amounts are determined by the law – see above.Moreover, mixed diesel, i.e. motor diesel containing 30 % MEŘO, is produced. Besides, production of fuel for ignition motors, which represents a mix of 85 % bioethanol and 15 % gasoline, is launched. These fuels are fiscally favoured in the way that their biocomponent   is not imposed by excise tax.

SoJ:  Biopaliva v ČR se používají hlavně jako přídavek do klasických paliv, tj. do automobilového benzinu a motorové nafty. Množství jsou stanovena zákonem  – viz výše.

Kromě toho se vyrábí směsná bionafta, tj. motorová nafta s obsahem 30 % MEŘO a je zahájena produkce paliva pro zážehové motory E 85, což je směs 85 % bioetanolu a 15 % benzinu. Tato paliva jsou daňově zvýhodněna tím, že na biosložku není uvalena spotřební daň.

ViG:  Where are biofuels mostly used in the Czech Republic?  ViG:  Kde se hlavně využívá biopalivo v ČR? 
 SoJ:  In the Czech Republic biofuels are added  to all propellants for road transport, i.e. to vehicle gasoline and motor diesel. They are  used in personal and freight vehicles, tractors, construction site engines and other machines. SoJ:  V ČR jsou biopaliva obsažena ve všech pohonných hmotách pro silniční dopravu tj. v automobilovém benzinu a motorové naftě. Využívají se v osobních a nákladních automobilech, traktorech, ve stavebních a jiných strojích.
ViG:  Is butanol supposed to be produced in the Czech Republic?   ViG:  Předpokládá se výroba butanolu v ČR?
SoJ:  Butanol production is not prepared in the Czech Republic. SoJ:  Výroba butanolu se v ČR zatím nepřipravuje.
ViG:  What kind of conventional energy  sources are used for biofuel production in the Czech Republic?  ViG:  Jaký druh klasických energetických zdrojů se využívá v ČR pro výrobu biopaliva?
SoJ:  In the Czech Republic, as a rule, steam  of own factory production, made mostly from  coal, is used for these purposes. Necessary electricity is taken from the distribution electricity network. SoJ:  Pro výrobu biopaliv se užívá jako energetický zdroj pára zpravidla z vlastní výroby podniku, která je vyrobena převážně z uhlí a elektrická energie z centrálních rozvodů.
ViG:  What is a state of producing biofuels of  the 2nd and 3rd generations in the Czech Republic?  ViG:  V jakém stavu je v ČR výroba biopaliva 2. a 3. generace?
SoJ:  In 2008 the Technological Center for developing biofuels of the 2nd generation was founded. It comprises a number of research organisations elaborating the technology for fuel production from renewables . Using various kinds of biomass for manufacturing so called  synthetical gas is of special importance as biofuels of the 2nd generation could be made from it. SoJ:  Pro vývoj biopaliv druhé generace bylo v roce 2008 založeno technologické centrum, kde je sdružena řada výzkumných pracovišť k řešení technologií výroby paliv z obnovitelných surovin.  Zvláště se jedná o použití různých druhů biomasy k výrobě tzv. syntézního plynu, ze kterého lze vyrábět biopaliva druhé generace.
ViG:  What is your standpoint concerning  social impacts of biofuel production (food vs. biofuel, sustainability of biofuel production)?  ViG:  Jaký je Váš postoj k sociálním dopadům výroby biopaliv (potrava vs. biopalivo, udržitelnost výroby biopaliva)? 
SoJ:  I think social impacts of biofuel production in the Czech Republic are positive . As I said the Czech Republic is self-sufficient regarding food raw materials, so cultivating plants for biofuels  is not at expense of cultivating plants for food. Farmers may cultivate more soils which ensures them more employment financial proceeds and profits.Biofuel production itself provides another  people work in biofuel production and distribution and create further values.

Sowing non-cultivated soils positively modifies landscape since you can see cultivated fields instead of weedy plains.

The State acquires means to the state budget   in a form of taxes on incomes of farmers and biofuel producers, due to excise tax and advantages of higher employment.

Biofuel production is sustainable, it is a part of solution of the global problem of supplying the society with energy from renewable sources. The final form of biofuels will be more  developed in alternative ways, i.e. biofuels        of the 2nd generation, electricity production from biomass, biohydrogen and methane etc.

SoJ:  Sociální dopad výroby biopaliv v ČR považuji za pozitivní. Jak jsem uvedl výše, ČR je soběstačná v potravinářských surovinách a výroba zemědělských surovin pro biopaliva není na úkor pěstování produktů pro výživu. Zemědělci tak mohou využívat více půdy, což jim zabezpečuje zaměstnanost a příslušné finanční tržby a zisky.

Vlastní výroba biopaliv poskytuje zaměstnání dalším lidem ve výrobě biopaliv a jejich distribuci a vytváří další hodnoty.

Osetí nevyužívané půdy má pozitivní vliv na vzhled krajiny, kdy místo zaplevelených ploch jsou obdělávaná pole.

Stát získává prostředky do státního rozpočtu ve formě daní z příjmů zemědělců a výrobců biopaliv, ze spotřební daně, z daně z přidané hodnoty a výhody z vyšší zaměstnanosti.

Výroba biopaliv je udržitelná, je součástí řešení globálního problému zabezpečení společnosti energií z obnovitelných zdrojů. Konečná forma biopaliv se bude dále rozvíjet alternativními směry tj. paliva druhé generace, využití elektrické energie z biomasy, použitím biovodíku, metanu aj.

ViG:  What is your position about ecological impacts of biofuel production (soil erosion, deforestation, affecting water sources, loss of biodiversity)?  ViG:  Jaký je Váš postoj k ekologickým dopadům výroby biopaliv (eroze půdy, ničení lesů, vliv na vodní zdroje, ztráta biodiverzity)?
SoJ:  Such events don´t happen in the Czech Republic. The whole problem of biofuels is  under rule of state bodies and state laws. So, in the future negative consequences might not occur. Soil erosion does not arise, quite the contrary the soil is cultivated, woods aren´t  cut because of biofuels, and water sources are not affected. Conversely, leakage of biofuels causes significantly less negative effects (biological decomposability of MEŘO makes 90 %, biodiesel 40 %). Plants for biofuel production must not be cultivated on the   plains with high biodiversity. SoJ:  K takovým jevům v ČR nedochází. Celá problematika biopaliv v ČR je pod kontrolou státních orgánů a státních zákonů, takže ani v budoucnosti by nemělo docházet k negativním následkům. Eroze půdy nevzniká, naopak půda je ošetřována, lesy se pro biopaliva nekácejí, vodní zdroje nejsou zasaženy. Naopak při úniku paliv mají biopaliva významně menší negativní vliv (biologická rozložitelnost MEŘO je přes 90%, nafty 40%). Suroviny pro výrobu biopaliv se nesmějí pěstovat na půdách s vysokou biologickou rozmanitostí.
ViG:  What is your position about technical problems (energy effectiveness and energy balance of biofuel production in comparison of biofuel effectivity with effectivity solar energy utilisation, carbon emissions)?  ViG:  Jaký je Váš postoj k technickým problémům (energetická efektivita a energetická bilance výroby bio paliv, porovnání efektivity biopaliv a využití solární energie, emise uhlíku)? 
SoJ:  Energy effectivity regarding the entire cycle of biofuel production, i.e. including plant cultivation, is cited above when discussing biodiesel. Triple amount of depleted energy is returned. Nowadays economical effectivity of biofuel production is higher than effectiveness of energy made by photovoltaic panels. The price of electricity generated by these panels equals 10-12 Kcz/kWh, biodiesel price is 2 Kcz/kWh. However, expenses on photovoltaic electricity will be decreased especially due to reduction of investment costs.Biofuel usage causes decreasing greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide. For example, biodiesel production, including rape cultivation and consumption of biodiesel by combustion motor leads to decreasing CO2e by 40–45 % compared with diesel. SoJ:  Energetická efektivita, vycházející z energetické bilance celého cyklu výroby biopaliv tj. včetně pěstování zemědělských surovin je uvedena výše pro bionaftu. Získá se trojnásobek energie oproti energii.V současné době je ekonomická efektivita výroby biopaliv vyšší než využití solární energie fotovoltaickými panely. Cena vyrobené fotovoltaické elektřiny je 10-12 Kč/kWhod., cena bionafty je cca 2 Kč/kWhod. Náklady na fotovoltaickou elektřinu se budou snižovat zvláště poklesem investičních nákladů.Použití biopaliv má za následek snížení emisí skleníkových plynů, zvláště oxidu uhličitého. Tak při výrobě bionafty včetně pěstování řepky a spotřebě ve spalovacích motorech se dosahuje snížení emisí CO2eq  o 40–45 % oproti klasické motorové naftě.
ViG:  What do you think about environment pollution by biofuels (biofuel combustion and deforestation)?  ViG:  Jaký je Váš postoj k znečištění ovzduší (spalováním biopaliva a ničením lesů)?            
SoJ:  One of the advantages of biofuels is their positive impact on environment, i.e. decreasing greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide. In exhausting gases there are less carbon dioxide, lower levels of particulates and less sulphuric oxide. Depending on motor construction emissions of nitrogen oxide could be lesser. Woods are certainly undamaged there, on the contrary.  

SoJ:  Jednou z předností použití biopaliv je pozitivní vliv na životní prostředí, tj. snížení emisí skleníkových plynů, zvláště oxidu uhličitého. Ve výfukových plynech se do ovzduší dostává méně oxidu uhelnatého, méně pevných částic a méně oxidů síry. V závislosti od konstrukce motoru mohou být o něco vyšší emise oxidů dusíku. Lesy se rozhodně neničí, naopak.

ViG:  Thank you very much for your thorough answers. All the best to you. ViG:  Děkuji mnohokrát za vyčerpávající odpovědi. Přeji hodně úspěchů.

 

 

Abbreviations used in the Interview 

  • k, th. = thousand
  • TOE = Metric Tons of Oil Equivalent
  • kTOE = thousand of Metric Tons of Oil Equivalent
  • REN21 = Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (http://www.ren21.net )

Biofuels Reduce Emissions (part 1)

March 6, 2010
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 Special Interview Reveals How Czech Biofuels Are

Ing. Jiří Souček, CSc. (SoJ), who participated on biofuel research in the Czech Republic, answered questions posed by Galina Vitkova (ViG)

 
ViG:  According to REN21 the Czech Republic produced 18kTOE (thousand Metric Tons of Oil Equivalent) of bioethanol in 2007, in 2008 it counts 38kTOE (i.e. 0.1 % of total world production). Is this amount of practical importance? ViG: Podle údajů REN21 vyrobila ČR v r. 2007 bioetanolu v počtu 16 tis. tun ropného ekvivalentu, v 2008 – 38 tis. tun (0,1 % od celkové světové produkce biopaliva). Má to praktický význam?
SoJ:  In 2007 the law about obligation of biofuel usage in propellants didn´t exist. In 2008 60kTOE of bioethanol were produced whereas 20kTOE were exported and 30kTOE were imported. Consumption of bioethanol amounted to 50kTOE. As for biodiesel 75kTOE of it were produced while its consumption made 85kTOE.Minimal amount of biofuel additive to propellants is set by the Czech Republic law coming out from the Directive EU 203/30/ES. Since 2010 the minimal additive of bioethanol to gasoline will make 4.5 %, while biodiesel additive to diesel will amount to 6.3 %. It corresponds to consumption of about 100 kTOE of bioethanol and 200 kTOE of biodiesel. SoJ:  V roce 2007 nebyla zákonná povinnost použití biopaliv v pohonných hmotách. V roce 2008 bylo v ČR vyrobeno 60 tis. tun bioetanolu  a vyvezeno 20 tis. tun. Bylo dovezeno 30 tis. tun bioetanolu. Spotřebováno bylo 50 tis. tun. Dále bylo vyrobeno 75 tis. tun bionafty a spotřebováno 85 tis. tun.

Minimální množství přídavku biopaliv do pohonných hmot je stanoveno zákonem ČR, který vychází ze směrnice EU 203/30/ES. Od roku 2010 bude minimální přídavek bioetanolu do benzinu činit 4,5 % obj. a bionafty do motorové nafty 6,3 % obj. To odpovídá spotřebě cca 100 tis. tun bioetanolu a 200 tis. tun bionafty.

ViG:  What is, in your opinion, the main importance of biofuels for the Czech Republic? ViG: V čem je podle Vás největší přínos nebo největší význam biopaliv pro ČR? 
SoJ:  The importance of biofuels for production of heat, electricity and usage in propellants for the Czech Republic and other countries lies chiefly in:

  • substitute of fossil fuels which will be exhausted
  • decreasing emission of exhausted and greenhouse gases, which. improves environment
  • decreasing carbon dioxide emission, which declines our planet warming
  • diminution of dependence on oil and gas import
  • supporting  uncultivated farmlands usage.
SoJ:  Význam biopaliv používaných pro výrobu tepla, elektrické energie a jako motorová paliva je pro ČR a jiné země zvláště v tom, že:

  • nahrazují fosilní paliva, která jsou vyčerpatelná
  • snižuji exhalací výfukových plynů, tj. zlepšují životní prostředí
  • snižuji emisí oxidu uhličitého, snižuji riziko oteplování planety,
  • snižuji závislost na dovozu ropy a zemního plynu
  • napomáhají k využití neobdělávané zemědělské půdy.
ViG: Could you cite kinds of biofuels produced in the Czech Republic (bioethanol, biodiesel)?  ViG: Můžete uvést druhy biopaliva vyráběné v ČR (etanol, biodiesel)? 
SoJ:  In the Czech Republic bioethanol (alcohol) and biodiesel (MEŘO) are produced. SoJ:  V ČR se vyrábí  bioetanol (líh) a bionafta (biodiesel, MEŘO).
ViG:  Which plants are biofuels produced from in the Czech Republic?   ViG:  Z jakých rostlin se vyrábí biopalivo v ČR? 
SoJ:  In the Czech Republic bioethanol is produced from sugar beet and corn while is produced from oil rape. SoJ:  V ČR se vyrábí  bioetanol z cukrové řepy a z obilí a bionafty (biodiesel, MEŘO) z řepky olejné.
ViG:  Is it possible to import biofuels to the Czech Republic?  ViG:  Je možné dovážet biopaliva do ČR? 
SoJ:  Despite biofuel production capacities in the Czech Republic are bigger than their consumption bioethanol and biediesel are imported, too. On the other hand, Czech producers export these products. It is a free market.  SoJ:  Přestože výrobní kapacity na výrobu biopaliv v ČR jsou vyšší než spotřeba, bioetanol i bionafta se částečně dovážejí. Z druhé strany čeští výrobci biopaliv tyto produkty vyvážejí. Jde o volný trh.
ViG:  How can we prevent deforestation or pluvial woods or palm groves cutting (which already occurs)?  ViG:  Jak zabránit tomu, aby se nekácely deštné lesy, palmové háje (což už se stává?) 
SoJ:  Palm groves are not cut. Contrariwise, pluvial woods are cut for planting crops including foundation of palm plantations. This process, the goal of which is gain soil for planting, has been lasting for decades or hundreds of years. Nowadays this process is said to be activated  by palm oil usage for production of biodiesel. But this is not a crucial reason.According to the EU Directive on biofuels for road transport 2009/28/ES biofuel producers will be certified by set criteria of sustainability. One of the criterions is that feedstocks for biofuel production must not be grown up on soils with a large amount of carbon, which is typical for soils after cutting woods. SoJ:  Palmové háje se nekácejí. Naopak deštné lesy se kácejí pro výsadbu zemědělských plodin včetně zakládání palmových plantáží. Tento proces, jehož smyslem je získání zemědělské půdy, trvá několik desetiletí ba století. V současné době se uvádí, že proces je ovlivněn využitím palmového oleje na výrobu bionafty. Nejde však o rozhodující vliv.Podle nové směrnice EÚ o biopalivech pro silniční dopravu č. 2009/28/ES, budou výrobci biopaliv certifikování podle stanovených kriterií udržitelnost. Jedno z kritérií je, že suroviny pro výrobu biopaliv nesmí být pěstovány na půdách s velkou zásobou uhlíku, což je i půda po vykácených lesech. 
ViG:  What about soil erosion, side-dressing soils for cultivation of plants for biofuel production?  ViG:  Co erose půdy, hnojení půdy při pěstování rostlin pro výrobu biopaliva? 
SoJ:  In my opinion, the soils should be used not only for food production, but yet for other needs of our society including energy demands. Formerly thermal energy was mostly got from woods. Today large pieces of land are used for cultivating plants for technical purposes like textile fibers (cotton, linen, hemp), paper (cellulose), biochemical products (sugars), etc. It concerns priorities, which are different in individual countries. Priority number 1 is food. In the Czech Republic agriculture covers all food needs, alongside 600 th. hectares of arable soil lie fallow, rape is cultivated on 350 th. hectares.Either we let the soils lie fallow without composting, weedy and scrubby or we use them for cultivation of required technical plants, which need the same composting as cultivating plants for food. SoJ:  Jsem toho názoru, že půda má být využívaná nejen pro produkci potravin, ale i pro další potřeby společnosti, včetně zabezpečení energie. Dříve většina tepelné energie byla získávána ze dřeva. Dnes jsou značné plochy využívány pro výrobu technických produktů, jako jsou textilní vlákna (bavlna, len, konopí) papír (celulóza) biochemické produkty (cukry) aj. Jde o otázku priorit, které jsou v různých zemích jiné. Prioritní je zabezpečení výživy. V ČR zemědělství plně pokrývá potřeby potravin, při čemž je 600 tis. ha orné půdy ponecháno ladem a řepka se pěstuje na cca 350 tis. ha.   Buď ponecháme další půdu ladem bez hnojení, na které budou růst plevele, nebo ji využijeme pro pěstování potřebných technických plodin, které vyžadují stejné hnojení, jako pěstování plodin pro výživu.
ViG:  What about enlarged consumption of water during cultivation of plants and biofuel production?  ViG:  Co se zvýšenou spotřebou vody při pěstování rostlin a výrobě biopaliva? 
SoJ:  Cultivating plants for energy production does not require enlarged consumption of water. The process of biodiesel production is not water-consuming, bioethanol production requires enlarged amount of water, but not extremely large. It is mainly about cooling water that circulates during the process. SoJ:  Při pěstování rostlin pro energetické účely není zvýšena spotřeba vody. Proces výroby bionafty není náročný na spotřebu vody, výroba bioetanolu má vyšší spotřebu ne však mimořádnou. Jde hlavně o vody chladící, které se ve výrobě cirkulují
ViG:  What is energy effectivity of Czech biofuels (the ratio of depleted energy to energy which is produced from biofuels)?  ViG:  Jaká je energetická efektivita českého biopaliva (poměr energie spotřebované na výrobu biopaliva k energii vyráběné z biopaliva)? 
SoJ:  Energy demandingness of biofuel production depends on row materials used and technological level of their cultivation, then on the technology of fuel production itself, on transporting row materials and biofuels, on usage of secondary products and energy calorific capacity of mass-produced biofuels. Main installations producing biodiesel expend for producing one TOE of biodiesel (MEŘO) 21 GJ energy (incl. rape cultivation), while produced biodiesel has 61 GJ energy capacity. It means the input energy is about triply valued.Energy demandingness of bioethanol production is larger, especially when it is made from corn.

Energy demandingness of conventional oil fuels is lesser than biofuel production.

SoJ:  Energetická náročnost výroby biopaliv závisí na použitých surovinách a úrovni technologie jejich pěstování, dále na technologii výroby vlastního biopaliva, na dopravě surovin a výrobků, na využití pobočných produktů a na energetickém obsahu vyráběného biopaliva. Hlavní výrobní jednotky bionafty v ČR spotřebují na výrobu jedné tuny paliva (MEŘO) 21 GJ energie (včetně pěstování řepky) a produkují se výrobky s energetickým obsahem 61 GJ. To znamená, že vložená energie se zhodnotí téměř trojnásobně.Energetická náročnost výroby bioetanolu je vyšší zvláště při výrobě z obilí. 

Energetická náročnost klasických ropných paliv je nižší než výroba biopaliv

ViG:  How much does biofuel transporting cost in the Czech Republic?  ViG:  Kolik činí náklady na dopravu biopaliva v ČR?
SoJ:  In view of using only own feedstocks for biofuel production and due to the fact that factories producing biofuels (refineries) are situated close to users transporting expenses are minimal. In comparison with the most of EU states they are very reasonable.   SoJ:  Vzhledem k tomu, že se k výrobě biopaliv využívají zemědělské produkty vlastní produkce a výrobní jednotky biopaliv jsou instalovány v blízkosti uživatelů (rafinerie) jsou dopravní náklady minimální a proti většině států EU jsou velmi příznivé.
  

Abbreviations used in the Interview

k, th. = thousand

TOE = Metric Tons of Oil Equivalent

kTOE = thousand of Metric Tons of Oil Equivalent                                               

 REN21 = Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century  

(http://www.ren21.net )

 
 

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